LABOUCHERE’S AMENDMENT TO THE CRIMINAL. LAW AMENDMENT BILL. THE 1 lth clause of the Criminal Law Amendments Act (48 & 49 Vic. cap. The Labouchere Amendment to the Criminal Law Amendment Act in the United Kingdom was named after the Member of Parliament who introduced it to . In the Victorian era, common wisdom held that women were passive, sexually innocent beings who did not initiate sexual contact, while men possessed a lustful.

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However, fellatiomasturbationand other acts of non-penetration remained lawful. It was under his amendment that ten years later Wilde was to be convicted.

Please update your billing information. Nor did it replace or supersede the Buggery laws as the basis of legislation. The Speaker having ruled that anything could be introduced by leave of the House, the clause was agreed to without any further discussion, the only amendment moved being one by Sir Henry Labouxhere with the object of increasing the maximum punishment from twelve to twenty-four months, which was also agreed to without discussion.

The Yokel’s Preceptora contemporary magazine, said this:. This ambivalence in the legal definitions up amendmetn defiles the medico-legal analysis of a purposive, legislative categorization of the homosexual.

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Amedment Elizabeth I it was placed on the statue books again in where it stayed until when it was decided to replace the death penalty for convicted offenders with imprisonment for at least ten years, and possibly for life. The new law was much more enforceable. Even the legislation controlling males soliciting males in only classified the guilty as vagabonds and rogues, along with pimps, dossers, beggars and female prostitutes.

The Criminal Law Amendment Act was passed, as we have seen, on the back of llabouchere protest, section 11 of the act which criminalized acts of gross indecency between men was a last minute addition, made by the maverick Member of Parliament Henry Labouchere and introduced and passed in a chamber that was virtually empty.


This change expanded the definition of a homosexual act while at the same time making it easier for the prosecution of homosexuality. Legislation against sodomy was in place and enforced well before the Criminal Law Amendment Act was passed in Nay, it is not long since, in the neighborhood of Charing Cross, they posted bills in the windows of several public houses, cautioning the public to “Beware of Sods!

Accessibility Links Skip to content. New Haven and London, The pre-existing legislation was based on anendment statue against sodomy with mankind or beast and had been modified in the course of the nineteenth century.

An 1885 disgrace

This chapter, instead, analyses the conflict, chaos and ambivalence that existed amongst ministers and administrators at the Home Office in the late nineteenth century, in respect to control and punishment of sex between men. Homosexuality in Great Britain Section Two: The Homosexual Revial of Renaissance Style.

Britain ended up with a proscription going far beyond anything else in any other country at the time. He argued for the Grecian pederastyand claimed that the modern era could rethink its values.

Labouchere Amendment – Wikipedia

Whatever the intention, the effect of its enactment is clear: The legislation accommodated the sexual lifestyles of men who, as long as they conducted their various and consenting sexual acts in private and the sexual encounter numbered no more than two persons, would not be prosecuted.

Any male purpose who, in public or private, commits, or is a party to the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and being convicted thereof, shall be liable, at the discretion of the court, to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding one year with or without hard labour.


However, since there was no actual witness of any such act nor evidence of semen on their posterior regions, the charges were dropped.

Although historians have described homosexual offences before, the question of what forms of behaviour actually constituted a crime at the beginning of the nineteen century is still relatively unclear.

Buggery Gross indecency between men Indecent assault. But the legislation that criminalized sex between men in the period in question never, in essence, distinguished between bestiality, heterosexual sodomy or anendment sex.

The other purpose was met by the ineffably awful clause XI, the Labouchere amendment, which made illegal all types of sexual activity between males not just sodomy, as hithertoand irrespective of either age or consent. Sign In Don’t have an account? The Act had removed the capital indictment for sodomy, but retained the archaic Buggery Act of as the basis for legislation.

Masculinity and Male Homosexuality in Britian, Furthermore, the section included a vague clause which allowed for the prosecution of anyone who played “party to the commission of” gross indecency.

Everyone knew that such things took place, but the law only punished acts against public decency or conducted tending to the corruption of youth.

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography says: These dossiers contain materials on this issue relating to the late s and were closed in using the one hundred year closure rule, the most stringent tool secrecy available to government.